Holy Father receives 20,000 text messages of support

.- Following Wednesday's general audience, the Holy Father received the thousands of text messages sent to him as part of an initiative through an Italian television network last month.

The texting initiative was part of a large-scale mobilization of mostly Italian Catholics and Church movements to show of solidarity with the Pope at the Regina Coeli prayer on May 16. The event was sponsored by "In His Image," a television program aired on Italy's RAI television network, in association with the Italian Bishops' Conference.

According to Italy's APCOM news, the Pope received the 20,000 text messages sent to him on Wednesday. They were printed in two large volumes which included a total of 2,300 pages between them and were accompanied by a reflection written by the president of Italian bishops, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.

The director of the RAI UNO channel, Mauro Mazza, and "In His Image" host Rosario Carello were on hand to give the Pope the volumes in person.

In the build up to the encounter with the Pope on May 16 which drew more than 200,000 people, Carello highlighted the uniqueness of the texting initiative and said he expected that messages would arrive from people within and outside of the Church.

There was no information released about the individual messages, but many were displayed on the "In His Image" program leading up to the May 16 encounter.

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